Color Dance Mixed media by Karen Phillips

Color Dance, Mixed media by Karen Phillips © 2017

The first time I shared my art, art that came from me, that wasn’t someone else’s idea or grade school assignment, I shook with fear. Having joined the Artist’s Conference Network, I had committed myself to becoming an artist and being willing to learn to talk about the work I created. I set my three paintings up, hands shaking, forehead covered in sweat, and then people began to look at my work. I couldn’t stay in the room, I felt I couldn’t breathe. Even though I had come to know these people, I still felt like I was standing there naked and they were examining every part of me, up close and personal. I had exposed the deepest part of me and they were using magnifying glasses. They could see every bump, scar, and flaw on there was.

During the set of customary questions that were asked about my intentions in my work, I began to relax more and more as I answered. The anxiety and fear began to be replaced with relief. I wasn’t going to be laughed out of the room; whatever you shared with this group was what it was. This wasn’t a critique group and non-judgement was our practice. Being a part of this supportive group helped me move through my insecurities and focus on achieving my goals of improving my skills and gaining confidence in sharing my work. I believe it’s important to put yourself in situations that support your dreams and goals. It may be scary but ultimately it allows you to grow. I’d love to hear if you tried something you found terrifying and was glad you did? What was it? Please comment down below.